The Project Icarus Study Group's objective is to design a mainly fusion-propelled interstellar probe. The starting point are the results of the Daedalus study, which was conducted by the British Interplanetary Society during the 1970's. As the Daedalus study already indicated, interstellar probes will be the result of a large scale, decade-long development program. To sustain a program over such long periods, the commitment of key stakeholders is vital. Although previous publications identified political and societal preconditions to an interstellar exploration program, there is a lack of more specific scientific and political stakeholder scenarios. This paper develops stakeholder scenarios which allow for a more detailed sustainability assessment of future programs. For this purpose, key stakeholder groups and their needs are identified and scientific and political scenarios derived. Political scenarios are based on patterns of past space programs but unprecedented scenarios are considered as well. Although it is very difficult to sustain an interstellar exploration program, there are scenarios in which this seems to be possible, e.g. the discovery of life within the solar system and on an exoplanet, a global technology development program, and dual-use of technologies for defence and security purposes. This is a submission of the Project Icarus Study Group.
Journal of the British Interplanetary Society
- Pub Date:
- Project Icarus;
- systems engineering;